Resolution.    *****


A New Year has arrived. Here is my prayer to God: “Dear God, so far this year, I’ve done very well. But in a few minutes when I get out of bed, I will need lot of help from you.”

My resolutions are:

1. Will try to spend less, save more!

2. Be nicer to my brothers because they are all I got.

3. Nag less, think of other people’s wants and needs instead mine only.


Today is the last day of the long vacation. We will go back to school tomorrow. How sad! We have been staying up until midnight almost every night, and not getting up until noon. I wonder how we are going to get up at 6 o’clock in the morning tomorrow. I wish we were still going to the old school so that we don’t have to get out of bed until 8.30 am.

We went to church this morning after 2 weeks absence. I do miss this church surprisingly; even Scott and Kevin like it here. They are so quiet and well-behaved, listening attentively to the sermon. Today , we stayed back an extra half hour to study how to be an “Acolyte” (i.e., a kid helper doing errands during church services like holding wine trays, or how to carry the big cross respectfully (cross bearer), and not dragging it on the ground.) We have to learn all the proper names for objects inside the sanctuary like altar. We are tiny God’s servants.

Next week we will attend bible class; they have very interesting teachers here, always trying to come up with ways to make lessons exciting so that the kids don’t fall asleep. I think they know Kevin well; as soon as anything is boring; Kevin would like to fall asleep right away. He was born to sleep!

Pastor John was on vacation (He must have left for Australia with family). There was another Pastor replacing him. She was a good speaker also. She said God is a strict discipliner to all his children. He doesn’t want to spoil anyone so here is what I learned from the new Pastor:




From her speech, I think this Pastor is a marathon runner because she said we should run our race smart. While running, we should “consider God and all the disciplines we have to abide to be good children.” Leaving the church, Mom asked if we want to go to the Buddhist temple for lunch. Scott and Kevin didn’t want to; so Mom  took them home and we left for the temple. It has been such a long time since we were here. Flowers were blooming; there were some “sold” signs on some plants ( the Master here loves plants and he gets too many after a while).

Mom’s friend who is a regular here said the monk ’s getting old so he is not making long speeches any more.  Well, she is wrong! We came here two hours late and the boss still  talked and talked and talked; he then told people to stand up to get ready for lunch; and he talked while standing up for another 10 minutes to test the will of his followers.  Mom was right that some people just love to talk.  Some don’t.  The boss here  does love talking. Mom says he owns the temple so he can do whatever he wants.

After the talking, he becomes the policeman standing at the door, guarding, and telling these old, old people how to make a line – walk out of the room and go to the dining room. It was quite a scene to watch. I feel sorry for these Grand Ma’s and Grand Pa’s having a boss like this every Sunday; they looked like they all scared of him except Mom. My Mom isn’t  easily intimidated by anyone  except traffic policemen.  She even has a manual how to talk to policeman when you are being stopped for traffic violation.

Due to the monk’s strict discipline , the shoe situation here looks very good compared to other temples that we visited. Mom doesn’t like being bossed around like this so we won’t come here much any more.

The nicest gift might be wrapped in the worst paper.

The nicest gift might be wrapped in the worst paper.

Christmas is almost here and Scott can’t wait. Scott can’t wait for anything that has lots of fun and involves lots of free time. And Christmas time is Scott’s most favorite time of the year. Friday December 18 was our last day of school. Today is Sunday, only Mom and I went to church this morning. Scott and Kevin couldn’t wake up because they stayed up late last night to play games on their computers.

There were not too many people in church today. I wonder why some didn’t come but there was a nice surprise happening at church: Toys offering to kids. We didn’t know this otherwise Scott would jump off his bed instantly the minute he hears any mention of the word “Toy”.

Well, let me tell you how the gifts were given out. It was a test; in fact a lesson to learn and I learned it so well today. Seven kids were asked to sit on the front row, each was asked to pick a gift-wrapped present. The 1st kid picked the biggest box, I was the 4th so I also tried to pick up the biggest too of whatever was left myself. Finally there was one tiny box wrapped in ugly newspaper left because it was the 8th gift for 7 kids. The Pastor asked each of us open our gifts. All the big, nicely wrapped gifts were empty boxes. I got a small string of light; another boy got a box of dryer sheets; a girl got a bar of soap in the big box. Then the Pastor slowly opened the tiny gift box. It was a beautiful gold coin which we all ignored because it was wrapped in old ,ugly newspaper. ( I wish I had picked that tiny, precious little gift instead of the big box I chose.)

I could tell all the kids were disappointed of the gifts they got by the sad look of their face; really, really sad. But the Pastor made it up by giving us some chocolate candy. And he explained about the meaning of what he tried to do: “God might give you something so little, so ugly, but if you look deeply inside, you will see the beautiful messages. We all nodded but I wished God would give us a nicer gift besides the lesson. ( When parting the Pastor mentioned to Mom that he thought it was kind of cruel doing that trick to the kids, but he tried to relay a message. Mom totally agreed that a very strong message was sent and I remembered it so well.)

The lesson I’ve learnt today is sometimes it’s a better idea not to go with the flow – when you see lots of people going in one way, you should stop and ask yourself why they are heading to that direction? Maybe you should go the other way and not make the mistake they are making. I think the reason Mom likes taking us here because of these life’s lessons which no other church offers.

Well so much for church , let’s come back to the main actor at our house: Scott !!! I figure out one thing that without Scott, there won’t be any me, any writing, and any blog for anyone to read. Scott is the main reason – Mom says for whatever disaster happening in our house.
Last night when we all went to Target, Scott hit straight to the toy section because he wanted to buy Kevin a present. I was surprised so I asked: ”Why do you have to get Kevin a present?”
“Because he wanted one” Scott boldly replied.

Scott picked up a $12.00 toy and paid for it with the $20.00 he barely got an hour ago from our aunt Rose. Scott wasn’t supposed to open the envelope until Xmas, but he did because he needed to know how much he got. He said he would seal it back, but he couldn’t because he need to pay for Kevin’s present. After the toy, there was some money left, he asked if Mom and I want to be treated for StarBucks coffee right there, but we declined since we didn’t want to hear his crying like the last time because he was so broke after spending money treating us,he demanded the money back.
Getting home from Target seeing Scott sit at the table and jab the toy box open, I asked why. He said he would share it with Kevin and he did ask Kevin for permission opening the toy , and Kevin said yes. Kevin would say yes to anything when he is not the one to pay.
Coming to counting presents, I have 8, Scott has 3, and all his presents have been opened and sealed back properly with the gift missing( $20.00, the candy cane was eaten half.) Scott is still waiting for more gifts coming his way.